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Top Colombia


Say “Colombia” and most people will immediately think of something negative: drugs, guerrilla warfare, corruption, kidnappings or crime. This is hardly surprising, since the international press regularly features these facts about Colombia.

In truth, Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries in Latin America, and many places are just as safe to visit as other destinations on the continent. So, if you don’t stray too far from the tourist areas and heed current safety advice, there is no reason why you shouldn’t include Colombia in your itinerary. You will be well rewarded if you do. Caribbean beaches, Andean highlands and fertile rainforest claim the highest diversity of flora and fauna on the continent after Brazil, making it a perfect spot for nature lovers. Yet even those places deemed safe and developed for tourism have hardly been touched by outside visitors.

It’s not, however, just natural wonders that draw travelers to come here; good food, great bars and fantastic coffee are a Colombian trademark, while the locals are reputed to be some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world, and certainly haven’t lost their party spirit. It’s no wonder the national tourism board has adopted as its saying, “The only risk is wanting to stay.”

Places not to miss on your trip to Colombia:

  • Bogotá: A well restored colonial center, cosmopolitan atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars make the capital worth visiting despite the noise, dirt and crime it is renowned for.
  • The combination of colonial history and Caribbean beaches make Cartagena popular with both foreign and Colombian tourists.
  • Take the six-day trek through the northern lowlands to the Ciudad Perdida (lost city), one of the largest pre-Columbian towns ever discovered in the Americas.
  • Leticia, on the southern tip bordering Peru and Brazil, is a good base for treks and boat trips into the Colombian Amazon Basin.

How to Go to Colombia
Seasoned backpackers rave about Colombia and claim it to be among the best places in the world for backpacking. For those with less experience bartering for hostels, and wanting a professionally arranged tour, designing a tour with a tour operator specialized in Colombia is an excellent option that will assure your adventure will stay safe and organized.

02 Nov 2015

VIVA Colombia

Colombia Highlights

Museo de Oro

This small collection of pre-Columbian stone, textile, ceramic work, and requisite gold pieces, including some very fine, 2,500-year-old filigree pieces, provides excellent explanations about ...
Pasto, Colombia

Ciudad Perdida (Lost City)

120802Deep in the recesses of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, in the upper Río Buritaca valley, lies one of the ancient Tayrona nation\'s most impressive cities, Teyuna, or Ciudad Perdida (Lost City). ...
Major Attraction

Parque Nacional del Café

If Juan Valdez, the image of Colombian coffee through the world, had a farm, it would probably be on the grounds of the Parque Nacional del Café, the theme park for all things coffee related. ...
V!va List

Plaza de Bolívar

119504 Plaza Bolívar is the ideal place for relaxation in the center of the old city. At lunchtime, locals take advantage of the shade offered around the center statue of Simon Bolívar on his horse, and ...
City Plaza
El Centro, Cartagena, Colombia

Colombia's Best Beaches

Playa Blanca

Very few foreigners know of Playa Blanca, 30 minutes west of Coveñas. This town has small beaches separated by jetties. It's where Colombians seeking sand and sun come to vacation. During the ...
Coveñas, Colombia

The Blowing Hole

106592Only on a small Caribbean island in the middle of the ocean could a hole in the ground which occasionally blows a strong puff of air be a major tourist attraction. On the southern end of the island, ...
San Andres, Colombia

El Almejal Beach

120184One of Colombia’s most spectacular beaches is El Almejal. The beach stretches two kilometers (1.2 mi) and ends dramatically as the ocean’s fury makes a meal of the surrounding rocks. Here, you ...
El Valle, Colombia

Playa Grande and Playa Cristal

121157If the beach in town gets too familiar, try one of the other stretches of sand nearby. The knoll on the right-hand-side of Taganga Bay shelters Playa Grande, an expanse of pale golden arena. From the ...
Taganga, Colombia

The Other Beaches

121265Most visitors to Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona go to the beaches near Cañaveral and Arrecifes in the humid forest zone of the park. On the western end of Tayrona are other less-frequented beaches ...

Santa Marta Beaches

122212Nothing surpasses the pale sand and warm waters of the Caribbean coast. Santa Marta is no exception. Within the city itself there\'s a beach along the camellón (seafront). Although a bit dirty, it ...
Santa Marta, Colombia


Bocagrande is a small island, tucked into the mangrove estuaries near Tumaco. A magical place to spend a few days, the crystalline sea washes upon fine silvery sand and soft breezes moderate the warm ...
Near Tumaco, Tumaco, Colombia

Islas de San Bernardo

In an effort to attract affluent clientele and foreign revenue, the Colombian tourism industry has recently begun actively promoting the tiny 10-island archipelago of San Bernardo, which is part of ...
Tolú, Colombia

La Piscina

A natural sea pool of crystalline waters has formed surrounded by rock and reef. Large and tranquil with warm waters, La Piscina is home to many species of colorful fishes that dart amongst the ...

Beaches near Manaure

In and near Manaure are a number of lagoons where you can observe flamingos and other waterfowl. Many also have beaches where you can cool down. In Manaure itself, the beach is a shadeless, pale gray ...
Manaure, Colombia

Colombia's Top Treks

The Lost City Hike / Ciudad Perdida Hike

137498 Treks to Teyuna (or Ciudad Perdida) combine the opportunity to see some of Colombia’s natural beauty with a fascinating insight into the ancient indigenous Tayrona culture. Usually a five-day ...

Volcán Puracé

114992The star of this 803,600-hectare national park is Volcán Puracé. A near-perfect cone peak, it rises 4,760 meters (15,613 feet). A well-defined trail leads from the Pilimbalá ranger station through ...

Cave Exploration

124023Tourists brave enough to ignore the bad publicity given to such a culturally diverse country, must surely contain a sense of adventure somewhere inside themselves. And there\'s no better place for ...
Near San Gil, San Gil, Colombia

Senderos and Miradores

123340A network of trails and lookout towers help visitors appreciate the natural beauty of this region. The journey to any of these attractions begins on Carrera 6, where signs begin to point you in the ...
Puerto Nariño, Colombia

Cueva de Cuchumba

123169Not too far from Hacienda La Esperanza, along the Quebrada El Cóncavo, is Cueva de Cuchumba. This cave with a waterfall within was once an important ceremonial center for the U\'wa. It was here they ...

Las Lagunillas

123168An easy one-day hike road trip is to Las Laguillas. The “camino” is well defined along the Río Lagunillas, a small stream flowing around copses of “frailejón” and across the plain, ...


123165Another prime activity in PNN El Cocuy is trekking across its plains. A series old trails traverse the wind-swept landscaped rimed with snow-covered mountains. The solitude makes it a wondrous ...

Mountain Climbing

123162One of the biggest draws to PNN El Cocuy is the mountain climbing. The Sierra Nevada del Cocuy is considered to be one of the most beautiful ranges in the country and the lack of tourists makes for ...

Peñol de los Muertos

123124And it occurred that men with faces of greedOverthrew and erased our villagesImposing their way of life by force.Liberty is a gift that is born with life,It justifies its existence.Without it, Mother ...
Guican , Colombia

The Camino Real from San Gil to the Río Magdalena

121276 I heard a bit of buzz from a friend in San Gil: Go trekking on the old camino real (highway), or Camino de los Guanes, to the Río Magdalena. I checked it out a bit. Indeed, it appears you can ...
San Gil, Colombia
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